West Coast mussels with tomato broth
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- olive oil, to fry
- 250ml white wine
- 50ml red wine vinegar
- 20ml (4 tsp) Pernod
- 2 x 400g tins good-quality whole-peeled tomatoes
- 200ml fish stock
- ½ vanilla pod
- 1kg live West Coast mussels, cleaned and beards removed
- 100g butter, cubed
- 100ml fresh cream
- juice of ½ lemon
- handful fresh dill, to garnish
- fresh warm bread, to serve
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion, leek, garlic and fennel in a little olive oil until softened, without colour, about 10 minutes.
Deglaze the pot with 150ml of the white wine, the red wine vinegar and Pernod. Increase the heat to high and allow the liquid to reduce by half. This should take about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, fish stock and vanilla pod and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, 20 minutes.
If any mussels are open, tap them lightly on a hard surface. If they don’t close, discard them.
Place the remaining 100ml wine in a large pot and bring to a boil to burn off the alcohol. Add the mussels to the pot, cover with a lid and cook over medium-high heat, giving the pot a shake from time to time, 3 – 4 minutes. The mussels are cooked once they have opened. Discard any that have not opened. Drain off excess liquid and place the mussels in a large, warmed bowl to serve.
To finish the broth, add the butter, cream and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Once the broth is heated through, pour over the mussels. Garnish with a good handful of fresh dill and serve with fresh warm bread.